It’s no secret that artificial plants are easier to look after than real plants – after all, real plants can be extremely sensitive and not all are easy to care for. Inside, it’s not unusual to end up with pots full of half-dead plants that look like they’d rather be anywhere but in your home, even though you do your best to dote on them.
Outside, things are just as difficult. While most plants will survive outside, a hot summer can wilt them to death, frost can kill them too, and if you don’t have enough time to look after your garden, you’ll end up with a garden full of weeds that swallow up the beautiful flowers and foliage you planted.
So, what’s the answer? Artificial plants. Artificial plants tick all the boxes of why we buy plants in the first place but with none of the care difficulties and hassle. Artificial plants are a major time saver – read on to learn how!
What are the time-saving benefits of artificial plants?
Artificial Plants Require (Much!) Less Care
Artificial plants require no maintenance, with the exception of occasional dustings. You don’t need to repot them, prune them, water them, diagnose their illnesses, weed hitchhikers out of the pot, get rid of pests (yes, that happens inside as well as outside), figure out where they want to live, move them in the summer and winter to make sure they’re still happy – and so on, and so on.
They Look & Feel as Good as Living Plants
No one’s arguing that real plants aren’t beautiful, but as you lug all your houseplants to the bathtub every weekend for their dedusting and drink, you’ll probably daydream about something else you could be doing. There’s no getting around the fact that time is a luxury in our modern world – there’s always more to do, more to miss out on, and less time to hit that reset button. Being home doesn’t mean you have time.
Fortunately, artificial plants are the solution for anyone who doesn’t want to take on active duty as a plant parent. Artificial plants are so different from how they were a decade ago, they now look just like the real thing, and feel just as good. If you invest in high-quality artificial plants (stay away from the plasticky selection at the supermarket!), your guests will have trouble distinguishing if your plants are real or fake, even after they touch them.
How They Look Today is How They’ll Look in a Year
If you succeed in not killing your plants, then there’s a good chance they’ll explode with growth, especially if they’re a fast-growing type. Inside, that means you’re going to have to think about repotting, pruning (though that will come long before the 1-year mark), and potentially dealing with its offspring, too. The much-loved spider plant is a staple in UK homes, but it also explodes with offspring if you care for it well. If you don’t, it will look pale and limp.
Outside, things are better, but they’ll still grow and if you live in an area where everyone keeps their gardens and outside spaces looking prim and tidy all the time, you’ll quickly become that neighbour. It’s not the end of the world to be the only house on the block that’s half-hidden by overgrown plants, but it probably won’t win you any fans, either. Let’s hope you like spending a few hours each weekend gardening!
They Can Survive Any Type of Weather
Remember our point above about plants dying in hot or cold weather? Well, don’t forget that if that happens, or if they get snapped in high winds, it’s up to you to do the cleanup. If you have a whole flowerbed of plants that are killed in an intense frost, you’ll be left with a bed of brown, mushy plants you’ll need to pull out.
Again, even houseplants can be bothered by temperature and light fluctuations. A plant you put on the windowsill in spring may not be able to survive the temperature swings in winter in the same spot, so you’ll have to find a better spot or move it away from the window overnight – again, that takes time, but more importantly, it takes a little bit of brainpower you may not have to give.
They Don’t Shed
All plants lose leaves, even succulents may lose a damaged leaf from time to time. That’s another thing to clean up each week. It’s only a small time suck, but it all adds up.
Artificial Plants are Non-Toxic
Ideally, you won’t have anyone deciding to snack on your houseplants, garden plants, or artificial plants, but if you’ve got pets or kids, it may happen. Most artificial plants are completely non-toxic, meaning you don’t need to panic if your child, puppy, or cat digests something they shouldn’t. Many real plants are toxic and can cause some pretty serious stomach upset, especially in pets, so that can be a major cause of stress. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll also lose time with potential vet and doctor visits. It’s just not worth the risk.
You Don’t Need to Replace Your Plants
Real plants die and break, and most people kill at least a small portion of the plants they buy. That’s not just a money pit but also takes you time to dispose of them and find a replacement. When you buy an artificial plant, you’ll buy it once and keep it forever.
All the Beauty, None of the Work in the Garden
Did you realise that you can create a beautiful outside space with all artificial plants? It’s totally possible, and once you’ve done the upfront landscaping, you’ll have to do very little upkeep – even less than your indoor artificial plants. We’ve got an entire blog post on ways to achieve it, so read it next if a low-maintenance garden is something you need!
No Risk of Pests
Greenflies, snails, slugs, aphids, and other pests won’t make a home on your artificial plants, but they may on your houseplants and will on your outdoor plants. Treating for pests is time-consuming and often involves using chemicals you don’t want around you, your pets, or your kids.
Can I use artificial plants to save time outside?
Yes! But not all artificial plants are designed to live outside. You can create a beautifully landscaped garden with all artificial plants (see the link above) but they need to be suitable for outside use. All artificial plants are waterproof (bar some silk flowers), but what you need to look for is UV protection. We’ve got an entire blog post on this topic, so you can read that here.
How do I prevent my artificial plants from fading?
Artificial plants will only fade in direct sunlight, so if you have a plant on a windowsill or in another high-light area, make sure you rotate it a little when you clean. This doesn’t need to be a big deal or all that taxing – you just need to dust, rotate, and move on. If you’re worried, get a plant with UV protection or use UV protective spray.
How can I save time on cleaning my artificial plants?
Unless your home is especially dusty, cleaning your artificial plants really won’t take up any of your time. If you find your artificial plants are often getting covered in dust, try vacuuming a little more often – it will improve your air quality, as well as reduce how often you need to dust. Outside, the rain will do the majority of the hard work for you, but if it’s been dry or if your plants are in an area that gets debris kicked up from the road, just dust it down gently with a broom or rinse it off with a hose.
How should I decorate with artificial plants to save time?
If you’re all about optimisation, here are some additional tips to help you save time with your artificial plants:
- Choose timeless plants – foliage-dense green plants look good year-round, but a lot of artificial plants with florals may look out of place in certain seasons. To save time, choose timeless plants that look good at any time of year.
- Choose timeless pots – similarly, don’t choose extremely trendy pots if you don’t want to spend time repotting in the future when your tastes change. Changing your pots can be a great way to bring new life to your artificial plant collection, but if you want to set it and forget it, choose timeless styles and colours.
- Don’t mix artificial with real plants – some people like to mix artificial plants with a few real plants they enjoy looking after, but if you’re super short on time this just isn’t worth it. Stick with artificial plants.
- Don’t use real soil to top your pots – using real soil to top your artificial plant pots is great if you want your artificial plants to look as real as possible, but it’s definitely not the way to go if you want to invest as little time as possible into your plant décor. You may find that a few weeds grow in the soil, and it will make just as much of a mess as a real plant if it gets toppled over. If you’re desperate to have that effect, consider putting in a little more work upfront and mix soil with a clear glue and top your pot with it. It will give you a realistic top to your pot – just be aware that you won’t easily be able to repot your plant if you do this.
- Choose plants with thick leaves – all plants will collect some dust, but it will take you less time to wipe down big leaves (such as a Fiddle Fig Leaf plant) than it will something like a parlour palm.
- Dust frequently – if you do want to use plants with thin leaves, dust them frequently so you don’t get a build-up that requires wiping off by hand.
- Place your artificial plants in a glass cabinet – if you want the greenery but none of the work, place your artificial plants in glass cabinets or terrariums to even further restrict the amount of dust that can reach the plants.
There’s no denying that artificial plants are by far the easier choice when it comes to bringing greenery to your home or business, whether that be inside or outside. With just a little care, they will provide you with years of enjoyment with little-to-no work. What more could you ask for? Create more space in your life to do things that bring you joy – the less maintenance we need to do on things we don’t really care for, the better! To browse our range of artificial plants, click here.